Changes for 2021

This page may be out of date

The Government announced on 6 January that exams won’t go ahead as normal in summer 2021, so some of this information may change. We’ll update this page as soon as further detail becomes available.

Read about 2021 exam changes

Following Ofqual’s announcement about changes to assessment in summer 2021, here's what you need to know for AS Environmental Science.

Please note: these changes only apply to assessments being completed this academic year.

Practicals can be studied through demonstrations

  • Students can observe demonstrations and simulations of practical activities to cover the required skills and techniques, if it’s not possible for them to carry out the practical activities personally.
  • You’ll no longer need to provide a written statement to say that students have been given the opportunity to undertake two days of fieldwork.
  • These permissions only apply to students who are following an AS science pathway and aren’t intending to progress to A-level in 2021-2022.
  • Using teacher demonstrations and simulations will enable teachers to provide effective learning opportunities to develop understanding of the skills required at this level.
  • Where possible, students should still carry out the required practical activities, but we recognise that this may not be possible in all situations.

No other changes

There are no planned changes to our assessments for Environmental Science (7446) in 2021.

Ofqual’s decisions on summer 2021 exams will mean that exams in AS science qualifications will follow the same structure and format as those in summer 2019, and will assess all of the components and objectives described in the specifications.

Students will still be assessed on the practical requirements of the specification in the examinations, so it is important that they know and understand how and why different research methods and techniques are used.

Help and support

Professional development: free online training and resources

We are providing free continuing professional development on the fundamental skills of A-level sciences, which will consider key aspects of the A-level Specifications for Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Environmental Science.

AQA Technician adviser online support

We offer technician support, where teachers and technicians can access guidance and support with practical activities. Experienced science technician adviser Dr Maxine Opperman is on hand to help. You can email Maxine directly with your questions at

Contact us

If you require further guidance, please contact us.